Feb 3
Kl1967 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

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Hi everyone,I'm new to this but finally ready to share my story.While driving my son to college to clean out dorm on March 25   I began getting a sharp pain in my chest.fortunately  my son was able to get me to hospital for emergency surgery. Wound up having a stem I heart attack with right coronary artery 100% occluded.  Dr. Treated me with three stents.  This was just when  COVID was just starting to explode in ny. I was terrified but was released from hospital the next day...they say no severe damage was done ,and dr cleared me to resume my normal schedule but I can't seem to get over worrying about another heart attack.  It's been almost 10 months but the constant fear is still there.just wondering if anyone else shares same feelings with their experience...thanks

  • TMM14526

    Hi KI1967, five years ago next week I had just finished a morning intense spin class with wife, she left for home and I was stretching and then was going to shower and head to work...then I felt a sharp pain across my chess and started to get short of breath.  Long story short I had a 100% blockage of my LAD artery, its called the widow maker.  Then...many things then went right for me and two hours later I had a stent put in.  Now I am dealing with a new diagnosis of AFib, and I dont think they are related.

    So to answer your question and worry, YES...it is natural to be concerned and think about often!  I fight being anxious by continuing to exercise, pray, make sure I hydrate (I think that is a root cause for my AFib), get my sleep, practice short periods where I concrentrate on my breathing, take my meds, try to live each day to the fullest and enjoy my family and friends!

    As time passes I hope you can find your routines and joy in the many things in our world and great country.  You may need to build some confidence in living again, and that means doing these things and maybe find someone you can talk about your concerns with.   I wish you all the best....and remember....EVERY DAY IS A GIFT!!!

  • EricS

    Good afternoon! I'm here for the same worry. A little about my situation. I'm a 45yr old disabled Coast Guard veteran with ptsd and anxiety, needless to say my heart attack about two and a half months ago has not helped my anxiety. I had a 99% clogged artery that I had pain for a year and V.A. doc kept saying its costrocondritis until the morning of dec 15th. I woke up around 2am with wierd back pain. I went back to sleep till 6am got up to get son ready for school and ran up the stairs and doubled over breathing and I was like *** is going on. So dumb me drove myself to V.A. Hospital where they finally did a traponin test that came back positive and transported me to local hospital and promptly had a single stent placed.

    After the stent I got home and felt great 100 percent loads of energy but still had that worry about exercise but just started out at ten minutes and have worked up to 1.5 hrs 3 thirty minute walks I was so proud and happy. THEN I went to Cardiac rehab where they found cardiac Ischemia with exercise and that just completely devastated me! I have a nuclear stress test scheduled for a couple weeks from now but man the anxiety of waiting and wondering is torture. Every little twinge in my chest I'm like whats that! Am I doing to much ? I totally understand where your coming from and I know as men we are raised as being scared is bad and for the week but thats B.S. man. I found when I first started mindfulness helps me a ton and still does but still have many moments during the day when I experience the "what was that" thoughts. Hang in there brother and now atleast we know what we need to do to be here on this earth and can take steps to give us the best chance and thats all we can ask of ourselves! Take care!


  • jtd99

    My story

    Bear with me - it might have some meaning.

    I was a strapping 36 year old, 6’180# 6% body fat athlete, with a resting heart rate of 42 bpm, who ran 3-5 miles per day at 7-8 minutes per mile and had just qualified for Master’s Track in the 100 Meters at 11.65 seconds. And at my Internist’s that fateful Friday afternoon in February 1991, I pounded the treadmill with no hope of any different outcome than the previous four attempts. Twenty minutes into the Bruce protocol, where my Internist usually shut the test down due to the failure to raise my heart rate to 75% max, he hit the kill switch and yelled at his nurse to call 911.

    I was stunned, to say the least. He made me lay down while he ran some more ECG strips and waited for the EMTs - we were right next door to a hospital. I was taken to ER, then to Cardiac Cath, found to have the following: 75% occluded on the circumflex artery, 100% on the right coronary (with ancillary growth around the blockage, probably due to aerobic activity at high altitude for many years) and 99% occulange on the LAD - the Widomaker.

    On Valentine’s Day. 1991, I had a CABGx3 - a triple bypass. Lucky to have made it that far. Only not so - my next older brother, by five years, had a quadruple at the same age (36) at the same health level (outstanding), so I knew it was coming. The reason? Homozygous familial hyperlipidemia. At the age of 16, my total cholesterol was 650. We didn’t even measure LDL back then. I had knots the size of baby carrots in my Achilles tendons that were cholesterol deposits and made it almost impossible to walk during my teenage years. I have taken more drugs than most people can possibly imagine and I have forgotten most of them. But I’m still here at 66.

    I’ve had two stents to support two vein grafts that have collapsed after 20 years. Very common and expected. No problem. I’ve been on all the experimental, and now, approved, biologic lipid lowering drugs, but, with Medicare, they are not affordable. So, I plug along with the maximum dosage of statins (for over 30 years) and know that quality of life is more important than longevity.

    I’ve got too many other issues to deal with right now - L2-L4 lumbar fusion surgery one year ago, for a start, so what the heck. I have nitro pills in case of emergency, I don’t fear surgery (I never have) and there are worse things than heart disease out there - trust me. You will experince what many will call PTSD - every Valentine's Day for 10 years after surgery I had panic attacks. My surgeon told me that the body never forgets an insult - he held my heart in his hand. The thing to remember is that you have people who love and support you and will be there for you. Focus on lovingkindness, taking care of yourself and living a simple life - everything else will take care of itself.

  • GJM2404

    Similar to the comments above,(which have helped me,also), as you know, it’s about combatting the worry. The very fact that you are aware of your feelings, are concerned about them and have reached out for assistance says you will be where you need to be sooner rather than later. Well done. I am 48 and was diagnosed with chf last August. It’s devastating but If I continually think  about what might happen, I will not be prepared for IF it does. One thing I tell myself is that if God had wanted me in August, he would have taken me but he didn’t so there must be a reason for me being here. I don’t know the reason, nor do I have to know. All I need to know is that it’s MY CHOICE to do everything that is within MY CAPACITY to keep myself here and,(hopefully), with an occasional smile on my face. Remember what your Dr said, ‘no severe damage.’ That’s enormous! Keep going and thanks for your story. It helps me!

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